3 Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Having sailed with RCCL many times I expected a great cruise on a grrat ship. Sailed out of Copenhagen. The Seranade of the Seas is in dire need of extensuve updating and repairs. Windows in the Safari Club lounge haf 1" of water ... Read More
Having sailed with RCCL many times I expected a great cruise on a grrat ship. Sailed out of Copenhagen. The Seranade of the Seas is in dire need of extensuve updating and repairs. Windows in the Safari Club lounge haf 1" of water between the panes. It had formed into algae. Water leaking in windows in the Windjammer. Casino tobacco smoke was not ventilated properly spilling in to public areas. Food in Reflections Diningroom was poor so after 5 attempts on a 21 day cruise the remaining meals were in the Windjammer. Cabin 8005 had broken brackets in bathroom cabinet. Cabin cabinets were scarred and scratched. Draws and doors did not open or close proprrly. Sofa had several stains on it. Carpet worn out and stained. Ports of call in Shetland Islans, Norway, Iceland and Nova Scotia had excursions that rrquired lengthy bus rides for a 45 minute toir. There was nothing in Greenland expect to walk around the small town. The ship went through the Prince Christian Sounx all dsy and waz being narrated by a Dr. Jacob. A monotone boring description of his opinion regarding as to how the rocks were formed. This guy also gave enrichment taljs which were equally boring but at least he put you to sleep. Debarkatiin in Port of Boston was horrible due to new Immigration process done on board. It was designed to expidite the process but delayed it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because it had port stops in Norway and Iceland prior to completing a trans-Atlantic crossing. We were very excited about the itinerary and we looked forward to enjoying the amenities the ship had to offer. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had port stops in Norway and Iceland prior to completing a trans-Atlantic crossing. We were very excited about the itinerary and we looked forward to enjoying the amenities the ship had to offer. Our cabin, 1104 was spacious, clean and had everything we needed. It was a little tired in appearance but overall we were very pleased with the cabin and with our stateroom attendant (Rafael), who did an exceptional job. The balcony was very large and sported two chairs, two loungers and two tables. It exceeded our expectations and spending time on the balcony was a pleasure and as the cruise went on, a necessity. The ship itself at first glance was impressive but it soon became apparent that it needed more staff for service and a really thorough cleaning. For example, walking up the stairs from the 10th floor to the 11th floor, the enclosed art display was visibly covered in dust. Dust permeated the ship and for those of us who have dust allergies, breathing became a challenge. By the 13th day of the cruise, I was spending more time on our balcony than inside the ship. The two worst areas were the dining room (my time dining area) and in the specialty dining restaurants. I will comment on the staffing issue further in this review. I reserve my harshest comments for the specialty dining restaurants. We always book specialty dining options as we find that they normally offer exceptional food and extraordinary service. Let me be very clear, there is nothing special about the two restaurants we visited. We gave Chops Grill and Giovanni's Table both second chances to ensure we were fair to them. In total we paid for four specialty dining experiences and found them to be average at best with lackadaisical service and mediocre food. Both restaurants are located off the Schooner Bar area so in the evening, the noise from the bar infiltrates the restaurants (particularly Chops Grill where we were treated to a musical war until someone complained and the Chops entrance door was shut. Even then every time the door was opened the noise level rose). The tables located within both restaurants are close together so there is little privacy and akin to eating in a crowded European cafe. The service in both restaurants was indifferent and in one case, the appetizer arrived before our drinks (Chops). At one point we were handed our menus and immediately asked what we wanted to order (Giovanni's). We asked for a moment to examine the menu options but it was clear, the goal was to feed us as quickly as possible and clear the room for more diners. The food in Chops was average at best with the Béarnaise sauce appearing to be rationed. A request for a little more sauce was met 20 minutes later when the meal was nearing completion and the sauce of little value at that point. Rather than plate the food you want, the Chops restaurant employs family style dining with little pots of food placed on the table for all the share. The food in Giovanni's Table was inconsistent. The scallops prepared one way on the first visit, were not prepared the same way on the second visit. The main course was served at the same time the appetizer was being eaten. There certainly was the feeling that there was a rush to get diners fed quickly and out of the restaurant. Our past experiences with specialty dining had raised our expectations for the food and service. We could not wait to enjoy our meals in those establishments. Unfortunately our Chops and Giovanni's experiences have ensured that we would not recommend either and we would not waste our time nor money in booking those venues again. We have been cruising on other cruise lines in the past several years and it has been some time since I cruised with Royal Caribbean. Consequently I am relying on my experiences with the services enjoyed on other cruise lines and on my memory of my previous experience with Royal Caribbean. The service seems to have gone downhill and fails to meet the level of service offered on other cruise lines. It is not just the failure to provide room service without a charge, it is the presence (or lack thereof), of staff in places such as the Windjammer or bars. Where once one could sit at a table and have staff circulate and ask if you wanted more coffee or a drink, now there is a lack of staff and it is incumbent upon the cruiser to self serve. Bar service is slow and in the main dining room, the slow service to offer a second glass of wine etc. (without being asked), was notable. Port stops: Copenhagen as a starting point was excellent. Oslo a great stop as was Kristiansand. Reykjavik was interesting and well worth the day and a half we spent there. Akureyri was a waste of time and we would have been better served with more time in Raykjavik or a stop in St. John's, NFLD. I would recommend that Akureyri be removed as a stop. Halifax was a great port and it would have been nice to spend more time there as well. Boston, as a final port, was excellent and we took advantage of the location by spending five days there following the cruise. The entertainment on board the ship varied from unremarkable to average. I remembered Royal Caribbean as having great entertainment but it was not in evidence on this cruise. Activities varied. Some were good (progressive trivia for example), while other activities were just odd. For example the Zen Art took place in the Schooner bar and consisted of participants being given a picture to colour with the use of some coloured pencils. Participants simply found a place to sit and colour. There was no designated area within the bar. Colouring on your own was the extent of that activity. The bar area was filled with people doing other activities and rock music was playing in the background. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Security was professional and seamless. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First of all: itinerary was perfect, Copenhagen to Boston with four days in iceland. Ship was clean, but we found traces of poor maintenace on all decks. Nor elevators or stairs in the AFT, quite far away in midship. Most of the staff ... Read More
First of all: itinerary was perfect, Copenhagen to Boston with four days in iceland. Ship was clean, but we found traces of poor maintenace on all decks. Nor elevators or stairs in the AFT, quite far away in midship. Most of the staff seemed to be new and untrained ... especially in the buffet restaurant it needed a couple of days before it worked half-way. Some crew members were kind and exerted, others treated the guests like I would expect it in a marine corps drill. Food and entertainment was very good, organization was a disaster, especially in regards of shore excursions and deembarkation. E.g. they promised to see Puffins on a 150-buck-excursion in Iceland, but the tour guide said that the puffins left 3 weeks before our arrival as every year. Most of the staff envolved in any kind of organisation seemed to be something between bored and uninterested, and many of them have to be called rude in their communication with their customers. I never ever had this kind of experience on my other cruises. My conclusion: I will not travel with Royal Carribean again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Serenade of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.6
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.9
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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